The Troll Toll
At the risk of plugging this thread a little too
much, it does offer a useful definition for trolling...
Trolling, And What To Do About It
One of the problems with trolling is that there's an unlimited number of ways to do it, and just about everyone has their own definition of what it
A key issue with a "troll points" concept is that it would be prone to abuse, and in most cases would probably signify little more than the fact that
people didn't like the topic or the member who started it, rather than whether it was actually genuine trolling.
In a more general sense, various negative rating system schemes have been proposed quite a few times over the years, and the owners have repeatedly
rejected such proposals for many good reasons.
Probably the closest thing we have to something like that is selecting "Rivals" with the Friends/Rivals feature. But even there the idea of a "Rival"
is more along the lines of a debating opponent than someone who trolls. Or so we are led to believe.
As for identifying trolls or trolling, the best method we currently have is the ALERT
system. When members alert us to problem posts, it helps us respond more quickly and, ideally, keep threads from getting derailed or flame wars from
breaking out, neither of which is acceptable for members who just want to post to or read a useful, informative and interesting thread.
My point of view is that I don't like the "scarlet letter" approach, and don't think members should have to wear badges of shame. We used to have a
warning system that would put red flags under member avatars, and I'm glad we got rid of that. The reason I don't like "branding" of that kind is
because it's backward-looking. What people have done in the past can't be changed, only what they're doing now and in the future.
We have quite a few members who run afoul of us for some reason or another (usually
) but who, once confronted about it, really do their best and
really do become good members who go and sin no more. It just seems wrong to punish someone with public black marks when they have already changed
their ways and are trying to do the right thing.
In any case, suggestions are always welcome and we do get some great ideas from our members. While we all have our less-than-flattering moments now
and then, on balance, the collective wisdom of the ATS membership is an awesome, phenomenal power.
As long as we choose to use it for good, not evil, everyone wins.
edit on 11/30/2011 by Majic because: (no reason given)